NPL Round 2 Wrap
Canberra Olympic 0 def. by Monaro Panthers 1 (Sam Smith 7’)
Monaro have equaled their 2017 win total just one game into the new season, after they upset Canberra Olympic at Woden Park in Friday night Football.
The Panthers got off to the perfect start just seven minutes in as they pounced on a costly error of judgement. Olympic shot-stopper Angelo Konstantinou tried to see the ball out of play, but Sam Smith fought his way there and kept it in, before getting back in front of goal and slotting home. Neither side were able to create much more in the way of clear cut chances bar one Olympic shot cleared off the line, in what was a largely dead even first half.
The second half continued in much the same vein as the first, with both sides looking to play in transition but unable to find the elusive final pass. Nik Popovich was withdrawn for Olympic as he looked a bit sore, with Victor Yanes coming on and Oliver Weiderkehr and Nick Faust were also called upon as Frank Cachia’s men chased the game.
Zoran Glavinic’s team held out strongly though, and saw out the final few minutes to clinch a famous win and third spot on the table.
Woden-Weston Football Club 4 (Elie Darwich 24’, Michael Adams 27’, Frederick Olaide Yinka-Kehinde 46’, 73’) def. Belconnen United Blue Devils 2 (Daniel Barac 20’, 44’)
Woden-Weston continued their perfect start to the season with a shock win over Belconnen United to go top of the table.
The Wanderers were confident after their opening round win over Tigers FC, but fell behind on 20 minutes when Daniel Barac scored his second goal in as many matches. It took the hosts only four miutes to equalise though as Elie Darwich scored from the penalty spot, and when Michael Adams scored just a couple of minutes later Woden were ahead again.
Barac grabbed his brace just before the break though to give Peter Mazis’ side a share of the lead at half-time, and the match was poised to go either way in the second 45.
But just a minute in, Frederick Olaide Yinka-Kehinde finished cleanly to give the hosts the lead once more, and the Wanderers looked to take control of the game. Belconnen were dealt a further blow with just over 20 minutes remaining when Zac Maybury was given his marching orders and Rey Castro’s men took full advantage when Olaide Yinka-Kehinde completed his brace and sealed the points to send Woden-Weston top of the ladder.
Riverina Rhinos 2 (George Pavese 20’, Samuel Scarfone 66’) def. Gungahlin United 1 (Jason O’Dwyer 35’)
The upsets continued in Griffith on Saturday evening as Samuel Scarfone’s second half strike sealed a first win of the season for the Riverina Rhinos, equaling their total from 2017.
Both sides were looking for their first win of the season after going down in Round one, and the Rhinos took the ascendancy early to go ahead as George Pavese fired home a rebound after good work from Joe Preece.
United fought back though and with ten minutes left in the half Jason O’Dwyer found Jone Ralulu off his line to finish tidily and restore parity at the half-way mark.
In a scrappy second half neither side were able to produce clear-cut chances, but with 24 minutes left Artur Rattel played in Scarfone to score and hand the Rhinos back the advantage.
With 15 minutes left Jacob Donadel was dismissed from the field for his second yellow and minds must have cast back to Round one when Rhinos gave away their lead, but the hosts hung on in the late stages to record an important win and condemn Gungahlin to a winless first two rounds.
Tuggeranong United 4 (Aisosa Ihegie 37’, Josip Jadric 64’, Danny Crkovski 72’, Tom Pagett 81’) def. Tigers FC 3 (Nicholas Villafane 21’, 90+2’, Alex Oloriegbe 32’)
A three-goal second half from Tuggeranong United helped them to a 4-3 come from behind win over Tigers FC at Greenway on Sunday afternoon.
Full report here.